One step (direct) and multisteps synthesis methods of metal and oxide nanoparticles are presented including both bottom-up and top-down procedures. Chemical methods involving the polyol process allows to get either isotropic or anisotropic nanoparticles. Nanowires, nanorods and dumbells can be generated either by heterogeneous nucleation or by using a template (mesoporous silica). Top-down procedures are illustrated by laser irradiation of immersed bulk targets (Ag, Au) which generates self-organized nanostructures or colloidal solutions. Laser irradiation of these colloidal solutions modifies the size distribution and the shape of nanoparticles. Bimetallic nanoparticles are generated from mixtures of monometallic colloidal solutions. Surface-mediated methods involving a host support and an invited phase are also presented. They lead to the formation of metal or oxide clusters and nanoparticles. The speciation of these entities is correlated with the observed catalytic performances.